Saturday, May 24, 2008

visiting cambodia episode III: get ready, shop, eat and go!

I finally copped that Colbie Caillat cd! RM25 only ok? How to resist, I tell you. Got it at Sg Wang. Nasib baik did not buy it at Speedy.
Me very happy:) Now I just got to wait for David Cook's cd

So, on our first day, we went to shopping mall and I had ice-cream! Ok lah, quite stupid, I know, to eat ice-cream in Cambodia but I like the pic that I took mah and want to post it here. Then, I have to write some description so I just wrote this lor.

Wah, my crap writing has improved.

Anyway, back to main point. I noticed that foreigners usually go to buffet restaurants in Cambodia. Maybe cleaner kua and "supposedly" more varieties.

Crap-lah. The food is nothing much as compared to Malaysian All-You-Can-Eat Buffet ok?

Our tour took us to two, Tonle Bassac Restaurant (in Phnom Penh) and Amazon Angkor (in Siem Reap). As usual, want to know more, go look it up yourself-lah. Don't be lazy:)

One thing I must warned you about the breakfast hotel buffet is that it really is not a buffet. can I put it into words?

Ok, to make it simpler - choose between fried rice, noodles, bread and jam or eggs.

Yes, that's all. Mom and I wanted to try Cambodian-style food so we ate their specialty bowl of noodles every morn'.

I would give it a thumbs-up if not because I had to eat it EVERY MORNING.

Then came the interesting meal we had when we dropped by a market en route to Siem Reap. Can you guess it from the pic above?

If you read my previous posts, then you would know. Yup, these are tarantulas, complete with hair on their legs somemore. The first pic is the fried version, the second is the alive version.

If you thought I was some brave chick daring to take pic with the tarantula, let me tell you what was really going on in my mind:

"Shit! Shit! Why did I agree to do this? Faster take the pic lah! You want me to die is it? And shit, stop crawling up my shirt, you damn pervert soon-to-be toasted disgusting thing!" (read in fast motion to achieve the actual effect:)

Despite my hesitation, I did taste it and other delicacies as well. Actually, it was more like me Mom forcing me to try it when I was so occupied camwhoring (that is her hand, not mine)

Tasted bitter though. But nevertheless, it tasted like fried meat popiah...or whatever you want to call them.
Stuffed frogs. Taste like some malay kueh

If tarantulas are not your thing, you can try...


Don't worry, our guide assured us that these are not your average household pests. These are actually water cockroaches.

I suck at biology (and diversity) so don't ask me what is the difference.

No questions asked. Btw, the cockroaches actually tasted better.

And for dessert, we had lotus seeds. Ok-lah, not as radical as the main courses but bet you didn't know these can be eaten leh? Kan kan?

Actually I didn't also.

Anyway, difficult to open and not even sweet also. Only recommended to those with lots of patience and those damn curious.

And now we move up into the shopping alley.

In Phnom Penh, we went to Central Market. Yes, they even have the same name as Malaysia's one. I wonder why this name is so popular?

And just like M'sia CM, this one is overly-priced, totally targeted for tourists and contains plenty of souvenirs.

But unlike our local CM, this one is over-packed with stalls, both inside and outside the building, stinky and hot.

Too many stalls, too little time.

Another market that we went to is the Russian Market. Slightly smaller than Central Market and a lot hotter. Less stalls too but basically, plenty of handicrafts and handbags.

Btw, Cambodia is popular for their gems. So if you have a big big wallet, you can take a look and maybe purchase some.

There are also lots of silverware and these wonderfully-crafted stone sculptures.

In Siem Reap, we also visited another market called Central Market.

I know. Seriously? Is this a joke? Either I am wrong or Cambodians lack creativity.

I secretly hoped it is the latter.

Much cleaner and more fun to shop here. Lots of wonderful and beautiful paintings. And I really mean beautiful:D

Another famous Cambodian export is the Khmer silk, which everyone tells me can only be found here and has great quality.

Maybe it's just me but ya, not really into scarves. Too auntie-ish, I think.

If you really want top-quality Cambodian handicrafts ( you know that saying, you want nothing but the best?), do visit Les Artisan Angkor.

This place is funded by the French government, for the sole purpose of giving job opportunities to those who live in villages and also to disabled people.

The people who make the handicrafts are all skillfully-trained. We got to see each section in the work factory, right from the beginning of the process till the end.

We saw how they sketch and carve the sculptures, how they paint and yeah, basically how each type of Cambodian handicraft is made.

Me like all the sketches in the workroom.

So if you think that all these stuff are overly-priced, think of how much effort is taken to make each one. Even if you cannot visit this place, there is a shop at Siem Reap International Airport selling their products.

Now is when I revealed some of the stuff I bought:)

A book on "Ancient Angkor" for USD7. Some bargaining skills required here.

I just realized Nicole has one too.

T-shirts for USD2 each. No bargaining here. Thought the price was reasonable enough.
Lots of varieties in terms of T-shirts.

Handbags for USD5 each. Bargaining needed. Let me warned you first, though, that Cambodia is a haven for imitation bags.

Gorgeous as they are, but if you don't want to be seen with knock-offs, you can do like me - spot for handbags without any famous logos or labels on them. Trust me, there are plenty as well to satisfy that handbag fetish.

Besides those, other things that caught my eye was like accessories and shoes, which are also aplenty.

Sunglasses of every kind can be found everywhere. Wish I copped more. But how can, since I am sei ngan mui:(

Got this for USD3 at Sorya Mall. So you can trust the marketplaces to have even cheaper ones.

Other miscellanous stuff I bought were junk food and souvenirs:P

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